On 1 July, eight weeks after the launch of the Conference on the Future of Europe (CoFoE), Studio Europa Maastricht organised a special edition of Workplace Europe in collaboration with the European Committee of the Regions: Workplace Europe: Mind the Gap!
What was discussed?
The goal of this Workplace Europe was to facilitate discussion on the issues the Conference on the Future of Europe aspires to address, and specifically how regions and their institutions can get involved and claim a seat at the table of the CoFoE. Professionals active in and across the domains of academia, policymaking and civil society discussed how to mind and anticipate the gaps (i.e., the challenges and opportunities) laid bare by the CoFoE. In what ways is the conference a wake-up call for regions and their institutions to better facilitate the debate and dialogue on European affairs? And how can they utilise it as a window of opportunity to promote trans-local, trans-sectoral collaboration and democratic innovation?
Wilma Delissen-van Tongerlo (Mayor of Peel en Maas and member of the European Committee of the Regions), Niccolò Milanese (founding director of European Alternatives), Wolfgang Petzold (Deputy Director Communications at the European Committee of the Regions) and Alvaro Oleart (postdoctoral researcher at Studio Europa Maastricht and the Department of Political Science at Maastricht University) were invited to open Workplace Europe: Mind the Gap! In a panel discussion, moderated by Beatriz Rios, they discussed European participatory democracy of citizens and regions in light of the Conference on the Future of Europe and answered questions from the more than 50 participants. The panel discussion was followed by two interactive breakout sessions.
The video does not cover everything that happened at this Workplace Europe. However, Studio Europa Maastricht has compiled a report with an extensive summary of the full event, including the breakout sessions. This report can be downloaded below.
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Since a picture says more than a thousand words, we asked illustrator Ronald van der Heide to make a live drawing. The result? A visual summary of all the main points that were discussed.
On the left: the opening panel discussion with Wilma Delissen, Niccolò Milanese, Alvaro Oleart and Wolfgang Petzold.
In the centre: the visualisation of the interactive sessions that followed the panel discussion, showing the positions of civil society organisations, policy makers, academics and political parties.
On the right: the recommendations that all speakers and participants collaboratively compiled.
Take your time to look at this amazing illustration and tell us how you think regions and their institutions can claim a seat at the table of the Conference on the Future of Europe!